Airbridge Equity Partners (AEP) has acquired a minority stake in the Berlin based scale-up Travelcircus the fast-growing and trusted entertainment travel platform that combines amazing entertainment experiences with handpicked premium hotels through modern technology. More than 750,000 travellers have used Travelcircus since its inception in 2014.
Travelcircus was founded by Bastian Böckenhüser and Mathias Zeitler and has become the market leader in the German entertainment travel market using their in-house developed technology stack, proprietary distribution and strong direct partnerships with companies like Ticketmaster, ATG, Stage Entertainment and Disney For 2020, for example, there will be an exclusive partnership with the world’s best-performing theatre piece Harry Potter and the cursed child.
The entertainment travel market is still to be developed and is growing significantly due the global trend of consumers shifting from goods to experiences; the so called shift to the experience economy. Travelcircus targets the biggest and most profitable verticals like musicals & theaters, theme parks, museums & exhibitions, wellness, sports, conventions, festivals and live concerts.
Travelcircus offers a market place to match customers’ demand for easy-to-book experiences and suppliers’ need to enhance pricing and utilisation. Customers are in need of a single point of inspiration and booking which offers a wide portfolio of entertainment events and an easy-to-use booking flow. Premium hotels are highly underutilized with only 60% usage but can’t price discriminate due to growing online price-transparency. Event partners and hotels are willing to discount their unused capacity in case their products are packaged and pricing becomes in-transparent. Travelcircus’ true end-to-end entertainment travel platform facilitates these needs and is directly connected to the OTA’s.
AEP will come on board as a new investor in addition to a number of existing investors such as Tengelmann Ventures, Howzat, IBB and Mairdumont.
Airbridge Equity Partners (AEP) has acquired a minority stake in the German scale-up AX-Semantics, the fast-growing tech company from Stuttgart that developed Natural Language Generation (NLG) technology that automatically creates linguistically rich descriptions of insights found in data.
NLG platforms automatically convert structured data, such as that found in a database, an application or a live feed, into a text-based narrative. This makes the data more accessible for users by reading or listening, and therefore to comprehend.
AX Semantics’ AI-based SaaS platform writes copy content and commentary, based on structured data, in 110 languages. It can be purchased, onboarded and used in an entirely self-service manner at a department level, without needing IT support. AX Semantics has customers globally, with a strong presence in North America and Europe. They enable companies in consumer products, financial services, healthcare, media & entertainment and retail to generate written content faster, cheaper and better with the help of AI and automation.
The company is led by Saim Alkan and Robert Weissgraeber and AX-Semantics was listed as one of the five leading global NLG companies in the Gartner market guide for Natural Language Generation platforms in June 2019.
ChannelEngine helps brands, retailers and wholesalers to sell their products on multiple online marketplaces at the same time through one e-commerce integration and management suite. The EUR 1.1M investment round has been led by Airbridge Equity Partners. With this investment round Rick van Boekel, the founder of Dutch leading Marketplace Bol.com, will enter ChannelEngine’s board.
With the increasing importance of marketplaces, ChannelEngine has seen it’s growth rate increase over the past years. The Dutch Scale-Up will use the growth capital to expand the team, strengthen its technological lead and accelerate its International expansion.
ChannelEngine.com was founded in the Netherlands in 2013 and has grown into a leading platform for marketplace integration. It offers the opportunity to have its customers increase their online presence and outsmart their competition by attracting a bigger audience and using advanced product rules, order management and pricing engines. In doing so, they get powerful functionalities and expertise at their disposal that save time and increase revenue. The ChannelEngine platform is used by companies like Ahold, Bugaboo, Body & Fit and many others.
ChannelEngine was founded by Internet entrepreneur Jorrit Steinz who started e-commerce specialist Tritac and online retailer SB Commerce (which operated over 65 own webshops like vtwonen.nl, Gadgethouse.nl and Nationale Geschenkbon).
The Amsterdam based Airbridge Equity Partners led the investment round. This Dutch VC with a European focus on technology based scale-ups has been founded by a small group of experienced entrepreneurs with considerable joint experience in investing and building successful companies.
“Airbridge Equity Partners has invested in ChannelEngine, the fast-growing company from Leiden that has developed one of the most advanced marketplace integration platforms in the world. Consumers increasingly buy via marketplaces as a result of the wide product selection, competitive pricing, fast delivery and high-end customer service. It is becoming increasingly difficult for webshops and brands to compete on the search engines and to coordinate and optimise the offer via the various marketplaces in a smart and efficient way. ChannelEngine provides a powerful solution to tackle these ever-growing challenges in a very effective way. We are convinced that Channelengine will become a leading international player in this fast-growing market.” says Rick van Boekel – partner at Airbridge Equity Partners
“We are excited to have Airbridge Equity Partners as investors who not only believe in our vision, team and platform, but who can also make a valuable contribution from their own experience during the various phases of rapid international expansion,” says founder and CEO Jorrit Steinz.
Airbridge Equity Partners (AEP) has acquired a minority stake in the Dutch scale-up Wonderkind, the fast-growing HR-tech company from Amsterdam that focuses on matching passive talent and employers through innovative software. Wonderkind, founded in 2015 as Recruitz.io, turns the entire internet into a recruitment platform with their technology that reaches talent open for new career opportunities but not actively looking for a job.
In the current labour market the majority of job seekers aren’t actively looking for a job. Only 20% are actively searching, but in specific industries like IT and engineering, this number drops below 10%. As a result, employers are missing out on talent by advertising on traditional recruitment platforms like job boards. Wonderkind’s technology – combining artificial intelligence and hyper-targeting – reaches both active and passive job seekers by enticing them through employer branding and vacancies on apps, websites, social media and email. This leads to better candidates at a lower cost by utilising recruitment campaigns that are spread across the internet in a manner of minutes.
Wonderkind will double their revenue in 2018, without increasing their number of employees. In 2017 sales were EUR 4M and in 2018 Wonderkind is on target to reach over EUR 8M in sales. At the beginning of 2018 Wonderkind was named one of the top 3 fastest growing tech companies in the Netherlands (top 20 in Europe) by The Next Web and Adyen.
The Series A round was subscribed by Indaco Ventures I and Airbridge Equity Partners.
Travel Appeal, the startup specialized in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for professionals in the Travel Industry, has closed a new capital increase worth 3 million euros.
The new funds will be used for the further development of technology and the acceleration of the internationalization process. Today, the Travel Appeal artificial intelligence solution is implemented by over 4 thousand customers throughout Europe, including hotels, restaurants, museums, retail and entire destinations. Travel Appeal’s goal is to increase the network of users and operates in countries involved in leisure and business tourism, with a diffused presence throughout Europe and in driving markets, such as Dubai. Travel Appeal aims to double the turnover year on year and exceed €25 million by 2021.
“This round marks a decisive stage and allows us to face the challenge of the most mature international markets much quicker with our unique and constantly updated technology”, said Mirko Lalli, CEO of Travel Appeal. “In these four years Travel Appeal has grown exponentially, in the coming months we will be engaged in a tight schedule to impose ourselves as a partner of reference for tourism operators in Europe and beyond.”
Travel Appeal, founded by Mirko Lalli in 2014 with the help of H-FARM, has developed its own Artificial Intelligence solution that collects and analyzes online travel data in real time, transforming that data into updated and immediately applicable strategies. These strategies are targeted for tourism operators to improve their online positioning and reputation, with a consequent positive impact on turnover and business operations. All this translates into a product designed in different ways of use and with different functionalities. Today the entire Travel Appeal ecosystem (Dashboard, API and App) is able to monitor, every year, the web reputation and digital strategies of over 1 million properties among hotels, restaurants, museums and retail. Travel Appeal has a total of 4 offices, two in Italy – Florence and Treviso – one in Amsterdam and one in London, and employs 30 people.
AMSTERDAM; GeoSpark is one of the fastest growing developer platforms working on a energy efficient location tracking technology with 90% less battery drain for iOS and Android, today announced that it raised €500K. This Seed round was done by Airbridge Equity Partners, an Amsterdam based technology venture capital firm.
“Location has become a core fundamental feature where developers and companies are making apps more specific to where you are so you spend more time using the app,” Manoj Adithya, GeoSpark’s founder and CEO, states. At GeoSpark we have a built a cutting-edge, user friendly location tracking platform that we are putting in the hands of every iOS and Android developer. GeoSpark lets developers do more with location.
GeoSpark uses a combination of location sensors like GPS, Assisted GPS and Network to provide location information and with the help of motion sensors, GeoSpark can predict the mode of transportation of the user like walking, running, cycling, tram, car, bus, train, boat and flight.
GeoSpark stores and analyzes historical location data for each user. GeoSpark learns each user’s (only after user’s consent) approximate home and office locations based on the size, location, and time distribution of clusters. GeoSpark generates events when a user enters or exits frequently visited places and predicts how often he visits and his next visit and approximately how long he would spend in a location.
GeoSpark geofencing is more powerful than native iOS or Android geofencing, with cross-platform support for unlimited geofences, polygon geofences, and stop detection. GeoSpark’s Near-Real-Time Venue Detection API identifies venues currently being visited by mobile users. The API analyses location coordinates, Wi-Fi and bluetooth-beacon scans, collected by the SDK and converts it to venue details, in near-real-time.
GeoSparks’s AI and ML features include Car Location Detection, Frequent places detection, Geo-Grouping, User Behavior prediction and Crowd Sourced Parking network.
Rick van Boekel (partner at Airbridge Equity Partners) says: “It’s very annoying when you’re using a great app and notice your battery is draining faster than ever. GeoSpark has developed high-end technology to preserve battery power when using location-based services by smartly combing satellite information with the sensors of your mobile device. AI is used to improve performance every day and therefore creating a new era for using location-based services and gathering more geo-based information. You have to see it to believe it!
We invested in GeoSpark because we genuinely believe location-based services are becoming more critical in everyday life and the primary constraint of using these kinds of services is because it usually kills your battery. Many companies are focussing on improving the battery capacity (solving the effect), but GeoSpark has reinvented the way location-based services can work in a much more efficient way to solve the cause.”
Launched in February 2018, GeoSpark is an AI-driven location tracking technology (SDK) with 90% less battery drain for iOS and Android. The developer platform hosts more than 450 Apps serving over 1.2 Million users. With offices in Amsterdam, Bengaluru and an office opening in the US, GeoSpark currently employs a team of 12 people. GeoSpark graduated from the Rockstart’s AI Accelerator program from Amsterdam.
Airbridge Equity Partners and a small number of informal investors will be investing more than 2 million euros in Knowingo+ in exchange for a minority interest. Knowingo+ plans to use the investment to accelerate its current growth and expand internationally.
The new platform for Corporate Learning
Knowingo+ is an online learning platform that gets employees learning in a fun way, any time, any place, right on their smartphones. In just a few minutes a day Knowingo+ ensures employees have all the knowledge they need to do their job well.
Ever since winning the Accenture Innovation Award, Knowingo+ has seen wider and wider adoption in the market. The platform is being used at companies such as PostNL, VodafoneZiggo and Rentokil, but also government services like the SVB and IL&T, to help employees master the knowledge they need to excel at their jobs. One of the keys to this rapid growth is the fact that Knowingo+ is a turnkey solution, that can often be implemented in just a few weeks.
Loren Roosendaal, CEO of Knowingo+: “It is amazing to see the results that customers achieve with Knowingo+. By using the power of gamification and self-learning artificial intelligence, we not only make learning fun, but we also make it measurable and reliable. Thanks to this new investment we can help more and more companies, in the Netherlands, but also internationally, to solve their biggest corporate learning challenges with Knowingo+.”
Rick van Boekel, Partner at Airbridge Equity Partners: “Knowingo+ offers a unique solution in a world where the level of knowledge of employees is becoming more crucial for the success of organizations every day. The Knowingo+ platform enables companies to get employees learning in a fun way via their smartphones. We believe it is only a matter of time until entire industries will switch to the innovative and proven approach that Knowingo+ offers.”
Influencer marketing-platform uses investment for continuing development of Artificial Intelligence
Haarlem, 12 December 2017 – Influencer marketing-platform Join has raised a significant amount of money from investor Airbridge Equity Partners. The company will use the funds to expand across the European market and continue to develop Artificial Intelligence as a cornerstone of the software.
Join is mainly active in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, but is planning to expand across markets. Paolo Martorino, co-founder and CEO of Join: “To maintain and enhance our strong position we need to stay ahead. With this investment, we can expand across borders more swiftly and take the lead on influencer marketing in all of Europe.” The new capital will be used to recruit talents and expand the team, connect more influencers and brands to the platform and to apply technological innovations, among which AI, at a higher pace.
The Dutch start-up offers brands and marketers a complete and user-friendly platform to find, activate and monitor influencers. “With this funding, we can innovate at a higher pace and take our data-integration and AI to the next level”, says Edwin Knip, Join’s CTO. “By doing so we can not only optimize the way the platform works but also develop and apply new techniques to enhance our service.” Currently, the platform analyses content from influencers and automatically matches brands and influencers. “Through machine learning, we’ll be able to learn about influencers’ personality and style to make even better matches. Moreover, we’re working on visual searching integrations.”
Airbridge Equity Partners is an investor who is internationally specialised in investing and management in digital marketing, marketplaces, SaaS, technology and e-commerce. By injecting the funds into the platform the investing party expresses their trust in the ambitions of the Join-staff. The investor concludes that Join is distinctive in the field of influencer marketing. Join is the only platform that offers clients not only a complete tool to select and contract the right influencers but can also launch campaigns and monitor campaign-results. A very innovative and mature solution within a young market.The minority interest should contribute to Join being European market leader in 2020.
Join is the first AI-powered influencer marketing-platform that uses technology to match brands and influencers. Join’s goal is to realize authentic and relevant collaborations. The company matches brands to over 15.000 influencers with a combined reach of over half a billion – in dozens of markets. The platform was founded by entrepreneurs Paolo Martorino and Edwin Knip in 2017 and is active in several European countries, among which the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.